You know, part of me suspected that might just be the case. I mean I've read about stuff like that happening in gaming (women in gaming feeling unsafe being out as women), but honestly haven't been connected enough to the online gaming community to really know first-hand. I still pretty exclusively play offline, and mostly single-player titles at that.
Hearing lots of stuff about sexual harassment is, in fact, one part of the reason why I don't get more involved in like online gaming, in addition to just personal aesthetic preferences. It's a combination of those things for me. Also part of the reason why, in stark contrast to offline where I'm not even out, I make it clear what my sexual orientation is in heavily male online spaces like this. Not only is it nice to be able to be out reasonably safely somewhere, but it also reduces sexual harassment to let people know what my boundaries are clearly. It's useful that way too in settings like this, I find. I also have the benefit of assumption going for me, as I find that VGC users instinctively assume I'm male until I formally tell them otherwise.
Anyway, yeah, I do see stats sometimes that suggest women today compose a significant minority of the gaming population (for example here's the official Entertainment Software Association data on American gamers over the last 15 years, which suggests about 40% are female), but those stats are based on a more generous definition of the term "gamer" than most people, including most women who game, would embrace, and to which end honestly the Quantic Foundry survey data, which suggests that about 20% of gamers are female, seems more believable to me. That seems more like the world I actually live in.
When I first started here there were a fair few female members and quite high profile ones and most have left it seems to me that the reasons would be pretty much the same as we see with other past members things like changing circumstance, different priorities etc and another factor that doesn't get mentioned much is when members see close contacts leave or take on a lurker status unless they are highly invested in the site they also move on.
Another thing I noticed was even though the site came across as respectful with little toxicity if any, what I did notice was an heightened air of friendliness this was especially noticeable on some female members walls where the posting was normal but the level of interest in that particular person's wall seemed way higher than usual.Last edited by mjk45 - on 28 July 2020